Conde Nast Traveler honors Ecoventura

ImageHandler.ashxAs many of you know, Chet and I are sailing to the Galapagos islands in a few weeks with Ecoventura. I thought you would be interested in this news:

Conde Nast Traveler Names Galapagos Small Ship Expedition Company Ecoventura Winner of 15th Annual World Savers Award

MIAMI, August 25, 2009 – Ecoventura is the winner of Conde Nast Traveler’s (CNT) 15th Annual World Savers Award in the category of Cruise Lines, announced Santiago Dunn, Ecoventura president. This award recognizes Ecoventura’s ongoing mission to be the pacesetter for responsible tourism in the Galapagos Islands.

Dunn will be on hand to accept the award on Sept. 21 at the third annual Conde Nast Traveler World Savers Congress at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City. The Congress expects to draw some 200 CEOs of major travel industry companies.

“It’s wonderful to be recognized for our past efforts but our groundbreaking work on setting the bar for responsible tourism in the Galapagos has just begun,” reflected Dunn. He has been instrumental in addressing a variety of environmental issues that have put the Galapagos on UNESCO’s World Heritage sites at risk list in 2007, citing the introduction of alien species and the negative impact of growing tourism and immigration as key problems.

“Ironically,” said Dunn, “booming tourism in the Galapagos has added to the challenges and problems faced by those looking to restore and protect the island’s native species and ecological balance.”

Ecoventura’s focus on ameliorating conditions in the Galapagos yielded the company the highest score of 90 points in the category of Cruise Line from the panel of judges. The company was noted as outstanding in four distinct areas:

. Education: For granting scholarships to Ecuadorian students interested in environmental and marine conservation.

. Poverty: For funding a micro-enterprise for fishermen’s wives helping convert a boat into a restaurant & boutique.

. Preservation: For operating the first hybrid power yacht in the Galapagos with solar panels & wind turbines that reduced carbon emissions by 10%.

. Health: Paying the salaries of physical therapists and sign-language teachers at a school in Galapagos.

CNT honors travel companies from around the world for their leadership in social responsibility in five key areas: poverty alleviation, cultural and/or environmental preservation, education programs, wildlife conservation and health initiatives. The magazine’s panel of 21 judges represented academics, CEOs and philanthropists.

“Despite these challenging economic times, corporate social responsibility is as important as ever,” CNT Editor-in-Chief Klara Glowczewska said. “The travel industry is on track to generate $7.3 trillion in revenue this year-a number that represents an enormous opportunity to improve our planet, and our World Savers Awards recognize those companies turning that potential into a reality.”

World Savers Awards Methodology: To determine the award finalists and winners, Condé Nast Traveler editors reviewed over 100 applications and narrowed them to 36 finalists. An independent panel of 20 judges, comprised of leaders from the travel industry and non-governmental organizations, rated how applicants exercised social responsibility in 5 key areas: poverty alleviation, cultural and/or environmental preservation, education programs, wildlife conservation, and health initiatives. There were eight categories of travel company: small hotel chains, large hotel chains, city hotels, small lodges and resorts, large lodges and resorts, tour operators, cruise lines and airlines. This year judges also looked at overall scores, to give credit to companies with admirable programs in a number of areas.

About Ecoventura: Ecoventura is a family-owned company based in Guayaquil, Ecuador, with sales offices in Quito and Miami. In operation since 1990, the cruise company transports 4,000+ passengers annually aboard a fleet of three expedition vessels; identical, superior first-class 20-passenger motor yachts with 10 double cabins. The company also operates the Sky Dancer, a 16-passenger dedicated dive live-aboard offering 7-night weekly itineraries visiting the northern islands of Wolf and Darwin. All of its vessels have been purposefully retrofitted to meet or exceed the highest possible environmental standards.

To reserve a cabin or private charter, or to receive a copy of Ecoventura’s 2009-2010 catalog please call toll-free 1.800.644.7972, or e-mail info@galapagosnetwork.com. To access current rates, schedules and itineraries you can log onto http://www.ecoventura.com/.

About Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia Boal Janssens is the editor and chief blogger for AllThingsCruise.com. She is a former national president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She has sailed on over 40 cruises all over the world.
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